how to sew a hoodie

Unleash Your Sewing Prowess: How to Sew a Hoodie Like a Pro

Is your wardrobe in need of an ultra-cozy and stylish upgrade? Look no further than sewing your custom hoodie! This comprehensive guide will walk you through every step, from choosing the perfect pattern to adding those all-important final touches.

Here’s how to sew a hoodie in 7 simple steps:

  • Select a hoodie sewing pattern (free or PDF download)
  • Gather fabric, thread, elastic, and notions
  • Cut out all pattern pieces precisely
  • Sew the front and back body panels
  • Attach the sleeves and hood
  • Add ribbing, drawstrings, or other trim
  • Admire your handiwork and stay toasty!

Ready to level up your cold-weather wardrobe? Let’s get stitching!

Choosing the Right Pattern

The first step in your hoodie sewing adventure is selecting a pattern that fits your style and skill level. Scour pattern books, websites, or online stores for modern hoodie sewing patterns in your desired size and design.

Pay close attention to details like:

  • Fit (casual, oversized, fitted, etc.)
  • Style variations (zip-up, pullover, raglan sleeves, kangaroo pocket, etc.)
  • Difficulty level (typically rated from beginner to advanced)

For first-timers, look for “easy” hoodie patterns explicitly marketed towards new sewists. PDF downloads are famous for their convenience and instant access.

Finding the Perfect Fabric

While knit fabrics like cotton jersey or fleece are ideal for hoodies, don’t hesitate to get creative! Medium-weight sweatshirt fleece, French terry, or lightweight sweater knits can work beautifully.

Look for fabrics with at least 25% stretch to ensure ease of movement. For extra coziness, go with brushed or looped backside fabrics.

Notions Needed

In addition to your main fabric and coordinating thread, you’ll likely need:

  • 1⁄4″ elastic or ribbing for cuffs and hem band
  • Drawstring cord or ribbon
  • Sewing machine needles for knits/stretch fabrics
  • Chalk or fabric marking pen

Preparing the Pattern

Preparing the Pattern
Photo credit: freepik

Once you’ve landed on the perfect hoodie pattern, it’s time to get it prepped for cutting. First, study the measuring guides and finished garment dimensions to determine your size.

Tracing and Cutting the Pattern

Most commercial patterns require tracing around the paper pieces onto fresh paper or cloth to allow for minor sizing adjustments. Use paper scissors or a rotary cutter to carefully cut just inside the outline.

For PDF patterns, simply print the pattern sizing you need with no tracing required. Some assembly, like taping sheets together, may be necessary.

Marking and Prepping Fabric

Wash, dry, and press your fabric, then lay it out in a single layer on a flat surface, following the pattern’s layout guide. Use pattern weights or pins to keep it taut and smooth.

Carefully transfer all notches, dots, circles, and other markings from the pattern pieces onto the wrong side of your fabric using chalk or a fabric pen. These will ensure proper piece alignment later.

Cutting Out the Pieces

Now, the real fun begins – cutting out those hoodie pieces with pristine precision! Employing sharp fabric scissors or a rotary cutter and mat, meticulously trim along the perimeter of each paper pattern piece.

Be sure to transfer over any markings from the paper onto the freshly cut fabric pieces. For pieces to be cut on the fold, don’t forget to flip over one side after cutting.

When cutting knit fabrics, use a small zigzag stitch around curved edges like armholes or necklines to prevent excessive stretching and distortion. Or, apply a strip of lightweight stay tape.

Assembling the Hoodie

With your pattern pieces prepped and cut, it’s time to start stitching! Arrange your work surface and threading accordingly. A ballpoint or stretch needle works best for knit fabrics.

Sewing the Body

Following the pattern’s construction order, stitch the front and back body pieces together at the shoulder and side seams using a 1⁄2″ seam allowance. Most hoodies will have you sew the shoulder seams first, then join the front and back at the sides from underarm down.

Use a zigzag stretch, mock flat fell, or other stretchy seam finish to encase any raw seam edges. This will allow the seams to stretch along with the knit fabric.

Setting the Sleeves

Next, sew the underarm sleeve seams and attach the sleeves to the bodice following the notched markings for alignment. For set-in sleeves, ease the curved sleeve cap into the armhole before stitching.

Raglan or Dolman sleeves are usually sewn flat to the front and back bodices, creating diagonal seams from the underarm to the neckline.

Constructing the Hood

The showstopping feature of any hoodie is, of course, the hood! First, join the hood pieces at the seams following markings. Most hoods are cut on the bias for stretch.

To attach the hood, pin the hood crown seam to the neckline matching notches. Leave an opening for the bodice to pass through before topstitching the hood to the neckline.

Adding the Finishing Touches

Your basic hoodie shape is now assembled, but there are still a few optional extras to consider:

  • Sewing ribbing or bands to the cuffs, hem, and hood opening using a zigzag stretch stitch
  • Inserting a drawstring casing into the hood opening and threading through a cord or ribbon
  • Adding kangaroo pockets, zippers, embroidery, appliques, and other decorative touches
  • Cover stitching or cover hem stitching around the bodice hem for a professional finish

Once all the bells and whistles are attached, give your entire hoodie a final pressing before trying it on. Admire your cozy handiwork!


What’s the best fabric for sewing a hoodie?

Cotton-based knits like French terry, sweatshirt fleece, and cotton jersey work wonderfully for hoodies. Look for fabrics with at least 25% stretch on the cross-grain. Brushed interiors lend ultimate coziness.

Do I need a special needle for sewing knits?

Yes, using a ballpoint or stretch needle designed for knit fabrics helps prevent skipped stitches and damage to the stretchy threads. Look for needle sizes between 70/10 and 90/14 for medium-weight knits.

How do I keep hood seams from stretching out?

Cut your hood pieces on the bias for optimal stretch. When sewing the hood seams, use a stretchy stitch, like a narrow zigzag or mock flat-fell seam. This allows the seams to stretch along with the rest of the fabric.

Any tips for setting in sleeves?

For set-in sleeves, be sure to “ease” the curved sleeve cap into the armhole by slightly stretching the cap as you’re sewing. Secure with plenty of pins or hand basting first. And don’t forget to understitch the seam allowance to the bodice afterward.

How do I sew hoodie pockets?

Front “kangaroo” pockets are a common and cozy hoodie feature. Simply cut two pocket pouch pieces and sew them along the top edge. Attach the bottom pocket pouch edge by stitching through all layers into the front bodice.


Ready to get started sewing your custom dream hoodie from scratch? What style or features are you most excited to create? Drop a comment below!


Main image: pexels

Priti Nandy
Priti Nandy
Articles: 249

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